Today and Today and Today

In Life, Travel on May 15, 2010 at 12:17 am

Before I left on this travel year, I sat at the table, eating Greek salads with my dad.

“Daaaad,” I moaned. “I’m sad.”

He looked at me and motioned for the fries.

“Ok. I’m really sad.”

He took a sip of water.

“Dad, I don’t think you understand.” I pointed to my face. “Sad.”

A smirk that only exists within my dad’s DNA began to take over his face.

“What’s the matter?”

“I’m leaving for Ireland in two days, and I’m sad.”


“I have all these friends and people that I love here and I just want to be with them, but I’m leaving.”

Smirk. Chew. “What’s the problem?”

“Well, you know, it’s sad.”

Smirk. Blink.

“I could cry.”

My dad put down his fork and wiped the smirk with the corners of his grease-stained napkin and looked me in the eye.

“You should be crying.”


“You should be crying. Go ahead,” he said. He nodded encouragingly. “If I were you, I definitely would.”

Oh, I know my dad well enough to know that I was about to be gifted with some otherworldly, who-else-would-ever-say-that response. I just cocked my head to the side and shook it at him.

“Think about it, Elizabeth” he said. “You love all these people and you’re going to miss them. But you love a lot of people in Ireland, too, and you don’t even know them yet. Next month, and in a year and two years; when you’re 56. You don’t even know who they are. Think about that. You don’t just miss all the people you know. They’re pocket change. You miss all the people you don’t know. That’s a lot of people…and that’s pretty sad.”

We smiled at each other, and we really enjoyed our Greek salads.
If I had known about Rita and Duncan and Rebecca and Donal and Pauli and Oda and Matt and Eva and Colm and Fiona and Ciara and Gerald and Kim and Elaine and Caitriona and Ross and Andy and Marie and Declan and Marialarra and Conner and Aiofa and Analisa and Javier and Seamus and Darragh and Ana and Francisca and Dave that night I wouldn’t have just talked about crying. Hell, after I knew them, that’s all I could talk about. They are my bed of Irish soul, my crazy catfish can-do dancers that daily throw their souls into the sky.

And when I came home after five months, they threw my dad’s advice into the sky and it plopped on the side of the road. I was too busy crying in the car to notice it, and so I drove over it, running frantically over my return to a life I no longer wanted. The real me was stationed miles away and I couldn’t stop looking over my shoulder for her.

Yet…if I had only rekindled the truth of the feta cheese and sliced tomato, I would have sensed Emmily and Dotahn and Emma and Damir and Nicolas and Googie and Ed and Tanya and Angel and Morgane and Pedro and Robert and Lea and Olguer and Wamari and Magali and Ligia and Kimberly and Erika and Lenin and Andy and David and Santiago and Orlando and Paulina and Carlos and Fabiola and Diego and Jenny and Yarina and Antonieta and Kevin and Tito and Ligia and Michelle and Adrian and David and Colin and Matt and Yanik and Francisca and Jessica waiting in the Ecuadorian wings.

I would have cried for the dessert dinners and wine consumption, the hikes and hugs. They are as beautiful as any I’ve ever known, and if Ireland broke my heart, they put it back together.

We are bound to repeat the pain and forget everything we know, bound to cultivate thirst and cover our way with rocks and straw and clay. But, if we look in the mirror and hold a flute and cock a brown hat sideways just so, if we wander the earth to live our lives and lose them, we’re liable to remember this sliver of the truth. It’s all been done before, and today is the day we smile bigger than we ever knew how, and today, and today, and today.

  1. Lizzy, that was beautiful! And I very much agree with what you wrote. I had the same feeling when I left Germany to go to America, then when I had to leave the States again and then when I thought I’d have to leave Ireland last year…and I’m sure it will happen many many times more, because we’re only young now!
    But still, even knowing that…I still miss you and love you to pieces!

  2. Reading your blog really is a savoured moment of sweetness. Riding the waves of inspiring meetings and bitter sweet partings pulls the heart strings into alot of practice. All the more beautiful the song I suppose. Missing you and sending many loves to you across the seas

  3. […] Lizzy has written this excellent post about parting with old friends and making new ones on the road: https://minutesofhoney.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/today-and-today-and-today/ […]

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